Meet the Staff of Model Railroader
Neil Besougloff has been editor of Model Railroader
magazine since June 2007. Before that, Neil was editor of MR’s sister publication Classic Toy Trains
. He also is associate publisher of Garden Railways
magazine. Before coming to Kalmbach Publishing Co. in 1997, Neil was a newspaper editor in Florida and in his home state of New Jersey.
Neil is slowly building an O gauge tinplate layout filled with original and reproduction 1930s trains.
Neil and his wife Susy are the parents of five boys, all college age and beyond. They live in Oconomowoc, Wisc., west of Milwaukee. In addition to model
railroading, Neil spends his free time reading history books, trying to learn Spanish, and tinkering with 1:32 slot cars and his 1931 Ford Model A.
Neil's layout, The Naugatuck Valley RR
Neil relaxes with a tinplate O gauge layout that features vintage Lionel and American
Flyer trains, as well modern reproductions. Almost all of the structures on the layout are tinplate, many lithographed, but the trains run through realistic scenery. Neil built the layout with L-girder open grid benchwork.
His scenery was built using a combination of extruded insulation foam sheets and cardboard webbing with plaster gauze. The mainline features working Atlas O signals and two motorized bascule bridges.
Terry has modeled in HO, O, and G, including several NYC-themed HO scale layouts. While none of his NYC layouts appeared in MR, he has had two Lionel O gauge layouts appear in the pages of Classic Toy Trains
, most recently the 2009 series "A retro railroad you can build."
Terry has been a reader of MR since he was 10. A native of Grafton, Ohio, he became a fan of the New York Central, the Baltimore & Ohio, and railroading in general at an early age. and he has been a modeler for as long as he can remember. Before coming to Kalmbach, he taught at Ohio State, and prior to that he worked for the Chicago & North Western. He also lived in Bonn, Germany while in college and remains a fan of German railroading. While at Kalmbach, he has served as Editor of MR, FineScale Modeler
, and Scale Auto
Terry’s current project is a German-themed HO scale layout that resides in the rec room of his family's home in Wisconsin. The layout started as a magazine project but has become an ongoing experiment in combining realistic mainline operation with a small layout. When he isn't working on a layout or relaxing with his family, Terry enjoys watching Ohio State sports, working on his street/strip Buick, and cooking (German food, naturally!).
Terry's layout: Northern Germany in the 1960s is the theme of Terry's current HO scale layout. Designed to be operated by one person, it's basically a table layout with a single junction town at the front of the layout and staging across the back. A short branch extends to a small town (on an adjoining peninsula) that features a two-vehicle installation of the Faller Car System. Terry is using the Märklin C track system and Märklin digital control for the layout. The tight curves allow him to get more operation in the small space, and the digital control allows for more flexibility in operation. He’s also adding operating signals and some animation to the layout. Right now he operates trains from the timetable in sequence but doesn't use a clock of any sort, and yes, he's aware that the Deutsche Bundesbahn would not have approved of that!
Jim Hediger has been on the staff of Model Railroader since 1972 and became senior editor of the magazine in 1978. He originated the magazine's Paint Shop column and built one of the earliest practical model railroads using John Armstrong's double-deck concepts.
After starting with an American Flyer train set in 1950, Jim made the switch to HO in 1957 and has rebuilt his well-known Ohio Southern to improve its operating potential. The present Ohio Southern is a 1970s coal and steel hauling "subsidiary" of the prototype Detroit, Toledo & Ironton RR. A feature article on "The groundbreaking Ohio Southern" (including the current track plan) was published in the September 2005 of Model Railroader magazine. The earlier track plan appeared in the February 1998 MR, and Jim's Huron Steel plant was in the April 1996 issue.
Star Hobbies, located right across the alley from his parent's home in Dearborn, Mich., provided part-time employment throughout his teens while a junior membership in the Detroit Model Railroad Club (O scale) gave him the opportunity to gain model railroading skills from some of the hobby's pioneers. Jim was co-chairman of the National Model Railroad Association's 50th anniversary national convention, "Goin' Home '85." He has three grown children, Larry, Lynn, and Lori, and three grandchildren: Lucas, Lindsey, and Wyatt.
Ohio Southern in HO scale
My Ohio Southern is a point-to-point double-decked railroad with 220 feet of main line and a 30"-radius helix connecting the decks. It has two stub end and two reverse loop staging yards stacked into an L-shaped 22 x 28-foot space. A third stub-ended staging yard extends into my workshop, for a total of 28 concealed staging tracks. Realistic operation of 17-20 trains per sequenced "day" uses up to four road crews, three yard jobs, and a dispatcher.
I started working on a double-deck system around 1980. Progress on that version of the OS came to a halt in 1990 when my basement was torn up for sewer installation. I took the opportunity to make some revisions to eliminate staging yard access problems and enhance the operating scheme. The "new" OS is a 1970s coal and steel hauling subsidiary of the prototype Detroit, Toledo & Ironton RR; my track plan is shown in the September 2005 issue of MR.
All my track is now operational and basic scenery and foliage covers the upper deck and most of the lower deck. The DC wiring is complete and I'm now working on building my industries, upgrading equipment, and a revised operating plan.
Dana Kawala joined the Model Railroader staff as an Associate Editor in October 2005. Before coming to Kalmbach Publishing, Dana was a product manager for Lionel Trains LLC in Chesterfield, Mich. Some of his areas of responsibility included high-end steam locomotives and passenger cars. Among his duties at Lionel, he edited and managed the production of the company's biannual catalogs and other printed material.
A native of metro-Detroit, Dana received a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also lived in Chicago for many years while working at the University of Chicago Library.
Dana's main modeling interest is the Bay City Branch of the Michigan Central RR (part of the New York Central System) during the 1930s and 1940s. Aside from once running through his home town of Utica, Mich., this branch line interchanged freight with Dana's second favorite railroad, the Pere Marquette at points farther north.
Cody Grivno, host of "Cody's Office" on www.ModelRailroader.com, has been a member of the Model Railroader since June 2002. A native of Crookston, Minn., Cody has been interested in trains as long as he can remember. His childhood home was less than a block from Burlington Northern's Minot, N.D. - Superior, Wis., line, and Cody spent much time trackside (and at the nearby Redland Yards) photographing trains. He also kitbashed, detailed, and painted locomotives and freight cars. His models won several awards, including National Model Railroad Association Thousand Lakes Region contests.
After graduating from Crookston High School in 1998, Cody attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. He graduated in May 2002 with a bachelor of arts degree in print journalism. While in college, Cody was a writer and editorial assistant for Concordia's Office of Communications and did freelance writing for three newspapers.
When away from the office, Cody enjoys railfanning with his trusty Pentax ME Super and drafting plans for an HO scale layout based on his hometown. His primary modeling interests are the Minnesota Northern RR and Burlington Northern, but he enjoys keeping up-to-date on short line and regional carriers in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
Cody and his wife, Dorothy, have a son and a Siamese cat. They enjoy exploring small towns throughout the Midwest.
Kent Johnson first joined the staff of Model Railroader
in the fall of 2004. Kent has accumulated a wealth of hobby knowledge while working as a senior editor for Classic Toy Trains
magazine and as a senior acquisitions editor in the Kalmbach Publishing Co. Books Department.
In addition to editing magazines, instructional references, price guides, and single issue publications, Kent has authored and photographed features, reviews, and columns, including the popular "Talkin' Toy Trains" series he wrote with his dad. He also appeared in the video production of Dream, Plan, Build: Layouts, Modeling Tips & Prototype Railroads and the DIY network television series Workin' on the Railroad.
Kent and his wife Ella are the parents of two sons and two dogs. Kent does his best to share his interest in trains, travel, music, photography, basketball, and other outdoor activities with his family and friends.Kent's layout: Canadian Pacific Railway In O scale
Kent's O gauge layout fills a 14- by 48-foot room in his basement. Inspired by travels to various regions of western Canada, Kent is building his layout to include city scenes in Vancouver, B.C., forested mountain terrain, and deep river canyons. Along with the scenery, the layout includes plenty of contemporary command-control locomotives and rolling stock, painted, weathered, and detailed for Canadian railways.
While finishing construction, Kent opened the layout to Lionel Collectors Club of America (LCCA), Lionel Operating Train Society (LOTS), and National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) members attending conventions in Milwaukee, Wisc.
Steven Otte joined the staff of Model Railroader in August 2007. As a longtime resident of Florida, he has slowly been acclimating to Wisconsin's colder clime. A native of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., and a graduate of the University of Florida, Steve lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Traci. He has been a magazine and newspaper writer and editor since 1987.
Like most model railroaders, Steve received a train set (powered by an HO scale Chessie Geep) for Christmas when he was a child. However, he didn't get seriously interested in the hobby until he bought his first computer in 1993 and started playing the game Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon. Since he preferred to start new games rather than continue saved ones, Steve developed an interest in the early steam era. He joined a model railroad club in Chillicothe, Ohio, and designed the club's new layout when it was forced to move from its downtown depot headquarters. Returning to Florida, Steve joined the Port St. Lucie Model Railroad Club and Historical Society, again just in time to help with a change in venue. He spent years as an armchair modeler, drawing track plans and building HO scale structures, but it wasn't until he came to work at MR that he started constructing his own layout.
While living in Ohio in the mid-1990s, Steve found in the local public library the book Narrow Gauge in Ohio: The Cincinnati, Lebanon & Northern Ry. Falling in love with the Southwest Ohio short line, Steve drew many track plans for his own HO scale CL&N. After finally fulfilling his lifetime wish of buying a house with a basement, he drew up one final plan and started building a layout in November 2008. The model railroad is set in 1906, 12 years after its conversion to standard gauge and 10 years after its acquisition by the Pennsylvania RR. When complete, the point-to-point, walk-in layout will occupy an approximately 12 x 26-foot space.
Eric Stelpflug joined the Model Railroader staff as an Editorial Associate in February 2008. Before coming to MR, Eric was Editorial Intern to Fine Scale Modeler magazine.
In 2008, Eric received a bachelor's degree in Communication with an emphasis in Journalism from Carroll College of Waukesha, Wis. While in college, he wrote for Zoological Society of Milwaukee and the Carroll College newspaper.
Aside from starting his own layout and learning as much as he can about the hobby, Eric also is a runner, triathlete, and percussionist. He has completed eight sprint triathlons, three half marathons, and two marathons. Currently, Eric is in the drum section of the Billy Mitchell Scottish pipe band.
David Popp has been a member of the Model Railroader
staff since 2001. He is a former high school English and drama teacher, having taught for in the Illinois public school system. Both his dad and his grandfather were model railroaders, and he has built layouts in N, HO, O, and G scales with them. In addition to his railroading interests, David also enjoys writing, producing video, historical miniature war gaming, gardening, slot car racing, and music. His wife, Ingrid, is a pianist and shares his love of the arts and the outdoors, and together they run Dropped Pencil LLC, a creative media arts company.
The Naugatuck Valley RR
His most recent layout is an N scale representation of the New York, New Haven & Hartford RR set in Connecticut's Naugatuck River valley in the fall of 1957. The layout was built for operation, and it centers on the city of Waterbury and its various connecting New Haven branch lines. David started the layout as a small apartment-sized model railroad and has since expanded it three times. The Naugatuck Valley RR has been featured in the April 2006 Model Railroader, Great Model Railroads
2008, and Model Railroad Planning
2011. It's construction has been chronicled in the Step-by-Step series of how-to articles, beginning in January 2004 MR. The Waterbury Industrial District expansion was the subject of a four-part series in the September through December 2008 MRs. And the complete construction story is featured in the Kalmbach book, Building a Model Railroad Step by Step, second edition (2011).
In it's current state, the Naugatuck measures 12 x 18 feet (not counting the walkways). The layout's scenery is complete, and the first official operating session was held in December of 2005. The railroad requires a minimum crew of five to operate, but can handle as many as nine. David runs the Naugatuck using timetable and train order (much as the New Haven's real Naugatuck Branch did) and a 3:1 fast clock. He uses car cards with 4-cycle waybills (made by Mirco-Mark) for routing cars. The layout is wired with a Lenz Digital Command Control system and uses Lenz and Atlas walkaround throttles.
David is never truly happy unless he's building something, and with the Naugatuck largely complete, he's taken to constructing a 1:32 four-lane slot car track on the other side of his basement. The track is loosely based upon Meadowdale International Raceways, a track that was once located in Illinois. When finished, the track will have full scenery, much like a model railroad. There is also a rumor that he has been dabbling in British OO modeling, and has drafted plans to build a small Great Western/early British Railways layout set in the late 1940s.
Andy Sperandeo, Contributing Editor,
Andy Sperandeo was on the staff of Model Railroader from 1979 until his retirement in 2011. He was named executive editor in 2001. He was also the founding editor of the annual Great Model Railroads magazine, the editorial director of Model Railroad Planning, and edited the How To Build Realistic Layouts series of MR special issues. In addition, Andy is the author of three Kalmbach books (Easy Model Railroad Wiring, The Model Railroader's Guide to Freight Yards, and The Model Railroader's Guide to Passenger Equipment & Operations).
Even though Andy is retired, he will still be a contributing editor for MR and will still continue to be the editor of GMR.
Andy has been a model railroader since his teens, and his interests in the hobby include modeling the Santa Fe's route through Cajon Pass (he started building his basement layout in April 1995) and operating model railroads (he likes to run the yard). A native of New Orleans, he and his wife, Arlene, now live in Brookfield, Wis., near the MR offices.
Andy's Layout: Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Ry. in HO scale
Andy models the First District of the Santa Fe's Los Angeles Division, from San Bernardino over Cajon Pass to just west of Victorville, Calif. The time is 1947 during the transition from steam to diesel.
The 38 x 44-foot layout in my basement will range in height from 66" at Summit down to 38" at San Bernardino. The L-girder benchwork supports 3/4" plywood subroadbed with Homabed roadbed. The track will all be handlaid except for staging yard. Andy has completed about two thirds of my benchwork and have laid all of the track from Summit through Keenbrook.
Tom Danneman joined the staff of Model Railroader in April 1999. Tom is responsible for the look of MR. This includes designing the cover and feature articles, working with the editors to find the best way to present information, and giving direction to the illustrators as they produce those colorful and complex track plans. Tom also serves as art director for MR's two annual publications, Great Model Railroads and Model Railroad Planning.
Tom currently also serves as art director of Trains and Classic Trains magazines.
Tom is a top-notch railroad photographer, and he is currently building a small N scale layout based on one of his favorite railroads, Montana Rail Link. His other favorite railroad is the Burlington Northern.
Drew Halverson joined the Model Railroader staff as a graphic designer in July 2007, after graduating from Marquette University with a degree in Advertising and Criminology. He works primarily on Trains, Model Railroader and Classic Trains magazines.Drew's layout
Drew's love for trains dates back to childhood, when he remembers watching Wisconsin Central freights roll across the countryside with his grandfather. Growing up in Milwaukee, he's very familiar with the local train scene and enjoys kicking back trackside during his free time. Drew is also an avid N scale modeler who recently began building a diorama based on his favorite railroad, the Florida East Coast Railway.
When not at work, Drew is involved with his other passion, auto racing. Designing Web sites for IndyCar driver, Oriol Servia, and IndyCar team, KV Racing Technology, has allowed him to travel across the country and meet people from around the world. Also a Denver Broncos fan, Drew is looking forward to the next football season.
Advertising Sales Manager
Scott Redmond joined the staff of Model Railroader in February 2007. Before joining MR, Scott worked as the advertising manager for Model Retailer magazine, the leading trade magazine for retail hobby stores and distributors. Scott has been with the advertising department of Kalmbach Publishing for over 10 years working to help advertisers promote new products, and increase brand awareness.
When not helping advertisers, Scott enjoys an assortment of hobbies including fishing, boating, and playing guitar.
Advertising Sales Rep
After working in the art and office supply industry for a number of years, Martha Stanczak joined Kalmbach Publishing Company in 1990. Her extensive background in sales paved the path necessary to help our advertising customers.
Since joining Kalmbach Martha has handled advertising sales for Garden Railways, Classic Toy Trains and Model Railroader magazines. Martha's first train trip was on a family vacation in the early 60's on the California Zephyr which began a lifelong interest in trains and model trains.
Martha's interests beyond model railroading include spending time with her husband and beloved cat as well as cooking for friends and family. She especially enjoys French cuisine and was once fortunate enough to meet and spend a day with Master Chef Julia Child.